Deep Soap: Eileen Davidson Does Double Duty on ‘Y&R’ and ‘Days of Our Lives’

"Days of Our Lives": Eileen Davidson as Kristen -- (Photo by: Benjamin Cohen/NBC)

Eileen Davidson Does Double Duty

Eileen Davidson will soon be one actress starring on two soaps. She will be making at least a few appearances as Ashley on “The Young & the Restless” while continuing to play Kristen on “Days of Our Lives.” When she left Y&R in 2012, there were rumors that Sony wanted her to appear on both of its soaps, but between the creative difficulties at Y&R and the logistical difficulties of having an actor who is contracted to one soap appear on another on a different network, it would be impossible.  Or so it seemed.

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Now, with Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith running Y&R, everything has changed. Ashley will be returning for Victor and Nikki’s wedding. Given that Ashley is the other love of Victor’s life and has what could charitably be described as a complicated relationship with Nikki, she will be doing more than throwing rice. Davidson told TV Guide that Ashley will also be making up for lost time with her recovering addict brother Jack, and the rest of the Abbotts. “I also have scenes with Eric Braeden [Victor], Billy Miller [Billy] and Marcy Rylan [Abby]… It’s an instant rapport. It doesn’t feel like the family was split apart and the show is now trying to pull it back together. Instead, it plays like Ashley’s just been out of town and now she’s back and the clan is stronger than ever, which is a beautiful thing.” Davidson says she is open to playing both roles full time, which would be a win for fans of both DOOL and Y&R.

Kudos to Sony, CBS and NBC for working together to make this happen. After all of the acrimony between ABC and Prospect Park over whether three actors currently on “General Hospital” would appear on GH or the on-line “One Life To Live,” it’s nice to see two competitors working together for the good of the genre.

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“Bold & the Beautiful’s” Anticlimax

There is nothing more disappointing than a potentially interesting storyline that fizzles out. I hoped “The Bold & the Beautiful’s” saintly Dayzee (Kristolyn Lloyd) was hiding a secret past as a black market baby broker. That seemed like what was being set up when fresh-out-of-prison Maya (Kara Mosley) showed up demanding that Dayzee reunite her with the daughter she gave up before she was sent away. My mind reeled with the possibilities. Perhaps Dayzee started selling poor babies to rich parents to solve her own financial problems, convincing herself it was in the best interests of the children. Perhaps she was ruthless and greedy, the Rose DeVille of Los Angeles, then saw the error of her ways and became a do-gooder.

Whatever the circumstances, I was looking forward to both the unmasking of Dayzee, perhaps transitioning her to a more morally ambiguous character who would get down and dirty with the Forresters and Logans, and what would undoubtedly be an epic battle between the poor, wrongfully convicted Maya and the adoptive parents. In my imaginary B&B, the child was now a Beverly Hills brat, raised by an African American version of the Kardashians.  (I am continually baffled by why B&B, a show that chronicles rich people in L.A., ignores the existence of the entertainment industry. This week there should be dialogue about which stars will be wearing Forrester gowns to the Oscars!) The child would initially want nothing to do with Maya, but after she proved Dayzee illegally sold her baby, Maya would get custody. Complicating matters, the not-Kardashians would be Forrester clients, and the whole saga would play out in the tabloids.

Instead, Maya’s child, and the adoptive parents turned out to have died in a car crash. Dayzee figured it out via an online search. Maya blamed Dayzee for about a day, then had an off-camera conversation with the adoptive grandparents and decided to forgive Dayzee. In other words, the opposite of drama and conflict. It’s especially disappointing in that B&B has a long history of giving short shrift to its minority characters. (Again, the show is set in Los Angeles! There should be diversity just for realism!) Unless it turns out that the accident was staged because everyone needed to fake their deaths to escape a drug cartel that, given that this is B&B, has some connection the Hope/Liam/Steffy storyline, this plot was over before it started. What an anti-climactic disappointment.

Reunited and It Feels So Good on “Days of Our Lives”

It took over five years, at least three headwriting teams and a couple hundred false starts and abruptly abandoned stories, but Sami  (Alison Sweeney) and E.J.(James Scott) are finally a couple on “Days of Our Lives.” Neither one of them is lying to or manipulating the other. They had a romantic, consensual sex scene that neither regretted. They are happy together. They are enjoying each other’s company. I can’t say that any of the scenes that they have had over the past few weeks are going to go down as the greatest in soap history, but they are fun.  Finally. Never in soap history has a show spent years undermining and ignoring two of its biggest stars insane romantic chemistry, and a couple’s ardent fanbase like DOOL did with EJami. But ever since all hell broke loose at Will and Gabi’s wedding, it has been a different soap. A soap where things actually happen.  A soap with sex scenes. A soap that wants to entertain its viewers. And, yes, a soap that is actually daring to write a romance for E.J. and Sami. Thank you, DOOL. All good things really do come to those who wait.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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